WOULD ewe believe it? Shaun the Sheep fan Shane Dowell has been left heartbroken after his chance to see his TV hero on stage was cancelled – with just three hours’ notice.
The eight-year-old had been looking forward to Shaun’s Big Show at the Sunderland Empire since the tickets were booked in January as an 80th birthday treat for his grandmother, Jenny Dowell.
The family outing was extra-special because the pair used to watch the TV show – upon which the stage show is set – together.
But Shane, a pupil at Hill View School, was left devastated when his mum Leesa found out just short of three hours before curtain up the “baa-d” news that the performance would not go ahead.
Now sheepish theatre bosses have apologised and say they hope they can restore the family’s faith in the Empire.
Leesa, 39, from Ryhope, said: “He has been waiting six months for this show, he came out of school all excited about that night’s show and then I had to tell him we weren’t going.”
Leesa spent £99.25 on six tickets, plus booking fee, for the show which is due to run at the High Street West theatre until Sunday.
The mum-of-three said: “We had booked them online so Shane had picked our seats near the front, he was really excited.
“We bought them for his grandmother’s birthday and he had made her a card as an invitation to the show.
“A message was left on our answerphone at about 4.15pm and we were due to leave the house at 5pm.
“They must have known the show was not going to go ahead that night so I don’t understand why they did not let us know earlier.
“We still went out to make up for it, but had to spend another £50 at the cinema.”
Leesa says although the family will be reimbursed the ticket cost of Wednesday’s show, they can’t make any of the other nights due to shift patterns at work.
A spokeswoman from Sunderland Empire said: “A decision was made to cancel quieter performances of the show and after communication with patrons affected, transfer them into remaining performances in order to enhance the experience for both patrons and performers.
“When a decision is taken to cancel any show we, along with our partner ticketing organisations, do have in place a very robust method of communicating with our patrons, which can encompass telephone calls, email and letters.
“In the case of Shaun the Sheep we can confirm that our usual forms of communication were fully utilised and can only sincerely apologise to Mrs Dowell that this important message did not reach her.
“We would relish the opportunity to work with Mrs Dowell to restore her faith in Sunderland Empire.”